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League of Legends is a computer game – a multiplayer online battle arena, to be specific – that has become immensely popular around the world since its release in 2009. The game has reached Principia’s campus, too.
Freshman Ian Carlson explained League’s concept. “The point of the game is to work together with four other people to take down the other team’s Nexus while still trying to control objectives,” he said. These “give big advantages and ability buffs, such as more attack damage, ability power and health regeneration, as well as a lot of gold for each player.”
League is considered to be an “esport,” or an electronic sport. Over 67 million people worldwide play League per month, and it has turned into such a beloved game that there are annual professional competitions around the globe. Last October, the 20,000-seat Staples Center in Los Angeles sold out for the League of Legends World Championship, in which the South Korean team SK Telecom T1 defeated the Royal Club team from China to win $1 million in prize money. Over 32 million people watched the final match online. This year’s World Championship will be held this weekend at Sangam Stadium in South Korea, a 66,806-seat venue originally constructed for the 2002 World Cup.
League of Legends has expanded so much growth that several South Korean television stations have committed to broadcasting League and other esports. Does League have a presence on Principia’s campus, however?
Many Principia students play League on a regular basis. Several also resonate with League’s classification as an esport. “To me, the game feels a lot like a physical sport,” sophomore Cody Veidelis said. “Just like in a sport like soccer or basketball, in League, without communication, efficiency, teamwork and individual technical skill all working together to create an effective team, you can easily be outplayed and lose.”
Beyond the similarities between League and physical sports, Principia students enjoy other aspects of the game, too. “My favorite part about playing was connecting with people who I normally couldn’t, such as old high school friends or family members,” sophomore Cedar Brumm said. Senior Forest Konefal said, “I enjoy playing a game with other players where everyone, more or less, starts at the same level or strength. Then the game is about skill versus skill or characters versus someone with worse characters or equipment.”
“What I love about the game is the depth of strategy required to win. When I perform well I feel both accomplished and powerful,” Veidelis said. “Outplaying someone in any game gives a rush of adrenaline that everyone can appreciate. It is exciting and empowering to outmaneuver someone in any form of competition, and I live for the feeling of performing my best and winning.”